Immigrants in our county are thriving in various sectors of our economy.
This editorial is the opinion of Morgan Hill Life
Immigration has long been a cornerstone of the American dream. Nowhere is this more evident than in Santa Clara County, where a recent report from the American Immigration Council highlights the remarkable economic and social contributions of immigrants.
The findings of the report “New Americans in Santa Clara County” serve as a powerful reminder of the vital role immigrants play in shaping our communities — including Morgan Hill, Gilroy and San Martin. In 2021 alone, immigrants in Santa Clara County contributed more than $22 billion in taxes and wielded an impressive $45 billion in spending power. These figures are not just statistics, they represent the tangible impact of immigrant families on our local economy. Moreover, the report underscores the fact immigrants are not simply residents but active participants in building a better future for all.
One of the most striking aspects of the report is the undeniable role immigrants have played in sustaining our county’s population growth. At a time when many regions are grappling with population decline, Santa Clara County experienced a 1.1 percent increase in its immigrant population between 2016 and 2021. Without this influx of newcomers, our total population would have shrunk by 2.1 percent during the same period. This is a testament to the magnetic pull of Santa Clara County, drawing talent and ambition from around the world.
Furthermore, immigrants in our county are not just here to stay. They are thriving in various sectors of our economy. In 2021, immigrant households earned an astounding $67.3 billion in income and contributed significantly to both federal and state/local taxes, paying $15.4 billion and $6.7 billion, respectively. These financial contributions help fund essential public services, from education to healthcare, benefiting all residents.
Perhaps most notably, immigrants are driving innovation and progress. Despite comprising just 40.6 percent of the population, they represent the majority of STEM workers, manufacturing workers, and professional service workers, at 67.2 percent, 64.0 percent, and 56.3 percent, respectively. This demonstrates the critical role immigrants play in maintaining our region’s status as a global technology and innovation hub.
Throughout the South Valley, we know there is a rich tapestry of tales that embody the resilience, determination, and ambition that define the immigrant spirit. Santa Clara County’s success story is inseparable from the contributions of immigrants. Their hard work, entrepreneurial spirit, and diverse perspectives enrich our community in immeasurable ways. With the results of the report, we must also recognize the importance of fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment that allows immigrants to continue to flourish.
“New Americans in Santa Clara County” is a testament to the positive impact of immigration on our region. It reminds us we are all beneficiaries of the collective strength and vitality immigrants bring to our community. Here in South Valley, let us continue to champion policies and initiatives that support and uplift our immigrant neighbors, ensuring Santa Clara County remains a beacon of opportunity and prosperity for all.
Let us honor and celebrate the contributions of immigrants as we work together to build an even brighter future for Santa Clara County.